Where "Victorianism" once conjured up an image of smugness, hypocrisy, and mindlessness, it now suggests quite the reverse: an age of high intellectual, moral, and spiritual tension, in which the typical problems of modernity were posed in their most acute forms. Gertrude Himmelfarb's distinguished piece of intellectual history explores these tensions and problems with sympathy, candor, and critical subtlety. Victorian Minds is a study of intellectuals in crisis and of ideologies in transition, rendered with an elegance of style and thought. "Few works that I know convey the excitement of the intellectual life of 19th-century England as immediately. ... The essays are remarkable no less for the cogency of their wit than for the range and precision of their scholarship"--Lionel Trilling. "Precise and discriminating ... an exemplary study of the 19th century and a superb introduction to the 20th."--Robert A. Nisbet. "Miss Himmelfarb is a writer to whom the organization of ideas into intricate shapes and patterns is imperative, and like many of her subjects-and comparatively few modern intellectuals-she is capable of poised and meaningful generalization."-- A. S. Byatt.
About the Author
Gertrude Himmelfarb is professor emeritus of history in the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She has written extensively on Victorian England, including The De-Moralization of Society, Poverty and Compassion, The Idea of Poverty, and On Liberty and Liberalism. She lives in Washington, D.C.